Kampala Tree and Palm Directory

Tree Species
Common Name
Tree Description
Tree Uses

English:False kamani, Country almond, Tropical almond, West Indian almond, White bombway, Malay almond, Myrobalan, Indian almond tree, Barbadosalmond, Bastard almond, Bengal almond,sea almond, Singapore almond, Story tree,Malabar almond, Demarara almond, Tavola nut, , Fijian.

+ Tree Species

Terminalia cattapa

+ Tree Family


+ Ecology

A conspicuous semi-deciduous tree of coastal areas throughout the warm tropics. It grows best in moist tropical climates. The tree is well adapted to sandy and rocky coasts and flourishes on oolitic.Plants grow best in the lowland tropics at elevations below 800 meters. In Kampala, Terminalia cattapa can be found within Makerere university, along Nakasero road, Prince Charles drive among other places.

+ Description

Terminalia catappa is a tall deciduous and erect tree reaching 15-25 m, trunk 1-1.5 m in diameter, often buttressed at the base. Whorls of nearly horizontal, slightly ascending branches spaced 1-2 m apart in tiers, or storeys, up the trunk. The pagoda-like habit becomes less noticeable as the branches elongate and droop at the tips.

BARK: grey-brown, rough with age.

LEAVES: alternate obovate with short petioles, spirally clustered at the branch tips, 15-36 cm long, 8-24 cm wide, dark green above, paler beneath, leathery and glossy. They turn bright scarlet, dark red, dark purplish-red, or yellow.

FLOWERS: slightly fetid, greenish-white, very small, with no petals but 10-12 conspicuous stamens, arranged in several slender spikes 15-25 cm long in the leaf axils. The majority of the flowers are male and borne towards the apex, while a few hermaphroditic ones appear below. Some spikes have only male flowers.

FRUIT: hard, to 7 cm, green-red, rounded and flattened, egg-shaped, with 2 ridges but no wings, 2.5 x 3-6 cm long, yellow or reddish when ripe. The cylindrical, oil-containing seeds are encased in a tough, fibrous husk within a fleshy pericarp.

+ Uses

Edible: fruits are eaten, almond-flavored seeds can be eaten out of hand or roasted, seeds can be chopped and added to cookies, bread mixes, dessert fillings, sweets, soups and stews, seeds yield 38 - 54% of a colorless, bland tasting yellow semi-drying oil that is used in cooking.

Medicine: leaves, bark, fruit, kernel of the fruit and root bark. http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php id=Terminalia+catappa

Agroforestry: foliage is used as a feed for silkworms and other animal feeds,tree's vast root system binds together both sands and poor soils, has a heavy leaf fall and so is a good provider of mulch for the protection of the soil, used for the reforestation of sandy areas, can help eradicate Imperata cylindrica and other unwanted aggressive grasses.

An ornamental tree.

The trunk is a source of gum.

The oil from the seed is used for making soap, but its industrial use is limited by the difficulty in extracting the kernel.

Bark, leaves, roots and fruit are all important sources of tannin with the astringent bark containing 9 - 23% tannin. It is used in leather preparation and as a base for inks; sometimes the roots and fruits are used for the same purposes.

A black dye that is used to make ink is extracted from the bark and fruit, and a yellow-green dye is obtained from the leaves. The trunk is also a source of yellow and black dye.

Wood chips soaked in water give a yellow colour.

The wood provides good quality timber which is used for cabinet wook, furniture and for the construction of buildings, boats, bridges, floors, panelling, boxes, crates, planks, carts, wheelbarrows, barrels and water troughs.

+ Propagation


+ Management

Fast-growing. Before planting, fertilizer should be applied to poor soils. Weeding is necessary for a few months after planting. It coppices as a seedling or sapling, but the species is not a strong sprouter. The species is known to form natural root grafts and has natural pruning characteristics.

+ Remarks

It is widely cultivated in the tropics as a shade tree, for ornament and for its edible seeds. It is often planted in avenues as a shade-tree, for which it is suitable because of its very regular shape. The wood is moderately hard; moderately heavy; strong and pliable; somewhat durable, but very susceptible to termite damage. It seasons well and works easily.

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